This is a first for me, responding to a search that led a stranger to the blog with this question just about ten minutes ago:
How do I heal my desperate need for attention?
If you’re reading this my advice is to get some attention. Know that the desire for attention is a normal human need, which can’t be “healed” in the way I think you mean, with finality, but can only be “satisfied” until it comes back again. Think about hunger, and like that.
It is a sad thing to type the above into a computer search engine as if this was a shameful ailment that has to be quietly addressed via instrumental means. That says everything about the time we live in, and nothing about the normal human need for tending and recognition.
Thinking that your search for attention makes you a desperate gaping pit of need will make you seem that way to yourself and others. You don’t have to think about it this way, you can de-pathologize and re-humanize your need for attention, and find good teachers who will validate that sense of self.
Look at your environment, notice the emboldened who make a point of getting their attention wants filled, and do some of what they do; people on YOUR path are in the world around you. If possible ask them to pay some attention to you, if anyone is going to understand it’s the people actually getting what it is you want. That’s kind of a rule. As with all forward growth there is a catch-22 to deal with. To heal involves asking for the basic attentions we were denied as children, but if we knew how to go about this task we wouldn’t need to. The problem and its solution are inextricably linked this way. You will have to try things you don’t know how to do and won’t come easy at first.
“Will you talk to me? Will you listen to the poem I wrote?” If they say yes, do your thing and thank them for their time.
Your whole life can gradually become filled with giving and getting daily strokes but you have to put your self out there. If someone says they don’t have time for you, find someone who does, and copy these people who get what you want, push through the fears and do what they do. There’s no reason not to do this, nothing to do but quit listening to the thoughts stopping you. Everyone who gets what they need does it by ignoring the stopping thoughts. You can too. Experiment with your life, that’s what life is. Play around, take some risks, you’re not out of line, not wrong or sick, you are free, said Kafka, that is why you are lost.